Call For Litter Picker Volunteers To Help Gather Important Litter Data

Scotland’s leading countryside charity is looking for people to sign up to collect and monitor litter as part of their ‘Have You Got the Bottle?’ campaign.

The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) have been campaigning since 2014 for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. This helps reduce the huge amount of waste produced by drinks manufacturers which often finds its way into our watercourses and littering our towns and countryside.

Deposits are due to be introduced in August 2023 and APRS is now calling for regular litter pickers to start logging their waste. This project aims to determine the impact of Scotland’s deposit return system on litter rates.

Jo McFarlane, Education and Public Engagement Manager at APRS, said:

“This is a great project to get involved in if you are looking for something to get you outdoors and making a difference in the New Year, and especially if you care about reducing litter in our towns and countryside.
Beachwatch Surveys run by the Marine Conservation Society showed that 93% of beach cleans found drinks related litter. We at APRS believe deposit return will have a dramatic effect on the number of drinks containers abandoned in streets and countryside too. Countries that have already introduced deposits, like Norway, Estonia and Croatia have seen a dramatic decrease in bottles and cans littered and a huge increase in recycling rates, so we are calling on people to get involved, log what they find, and help show the impact Scotland’s system will have.”

APRS are working in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and their Source to Sea litter survey to gather information about the proportion of drinks containers found in litter before and after the introduction of deposit return.

Kirsty Crawford, Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager for Scotland at the Marine Conservation Society, said:


“It’s brilliant to be working with APRS again on collecting vital data to show the need for a Deposit Return Scheme for bottles and cans in Scotland. We have decades of data on the types of litter found on UK beaches, showing the desperate need to bring back Deposit Return Schemes in each home nation to protect our wildlife from drinks-related pollution including cans and bottles. We hope to see a drop in these types of litter once the Scottish Scheme is implemented in August 2023. With our volunteers, we’ll be able to monitor its success and keep campaigning for ocean positive policies.”

Fiona Ware from Edinburgh, who has just begun volunteering for the survey, said:

‘The success of the plastic bag charge shows that policy changes can make a real difference to reducing the litter that blights our countryside and coasts. I am delighted that the bottle and can Deposit Scheme will be going live in Scotland in 2023 and I hope the results of the APRS Deposit Return Litter Survey will encourage other regions to adopt similar schemes in the future.’

Volunteers who want to take part can find out more information on the APRS website at www.aprs.scot or contact Joanna directly on [email protected] or via Facebook or Twitter @APRScotland

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